Members of Congress are calling for Representative Lauren Boebert to be removed after the Colorado Republican made anti-Muslim comments about Representative Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota. Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley announced Wednesday that she is "leading a resolution to remove Rep. Boebert from her committee assignments."
"Her dangerous behavior & hateful, Islamophobic rhetoric has no place in our society & only emboldens further violence," the Massachusetts Democrat tweeted. "There must be accountability."
In the resolution, Pressley cited a House rule that states that members and employees "shall behave at all times in a manner that reflects credibility on the House." Pressley is asking that Boebert be removed from the budget and natural resources committees she belongs to as a member of the House.
In a video that gained widespread attention on Twitter last month, Boebert describes a conversation she had with a staffer while in an elevator in the Capitol. She said she saw a police officer running toward them and then saw Omar.
"Well, she doesn't have a backpack. We should be fine," Boebert recalled saying, according to CBS affiliate WCCO. "And I said, 'Oh look, the jihad squad decided to show up for work today.'"
Pressley is exorcised about Boebert's "hateful, Islamophobic rhetoric." She also decried "dangerous behavior" but it's clear she's referring exclusively to Boebert's despicable rhetoric. It is, Pressley argues, a violation of the portion of the House rule that members "shall behave at all times in a manner that reflects credibility on the House."
That's ridiculously vague and subject to personal interpretation and misinterpretation. If the rule could be applied against Boebert because of highly offensive speech, it could be applied against numerous others. Recall when in June, 2018
Over the weekend, Waters urged her supporters to publicly confront Trump administration officials over the White House’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that has led to the separation of migrant children from parents.
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up,” the California Democrat said at a rally. “And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere. We’ve got to get the children connected to their parents"....
Waters’ remarks followed protests over the immigration policy that drove Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen away from a dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Washington last week. A restaurant in Virginia also refused to serve White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday night.
Republicans howled, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi properly rebuked Waters. However, no Republican introduced a resolution proposing that the California congresswoman be removed from the committees on which she served, even though she had obviously failed to behave "in a manner that reflects credibility on the House" and employed rhetoric that, nearly inarguably, "emboldens future violence."
If the GOP had made such a move, Democrats probably would have aggressively pushed back- as they would have been right to do.
If he had a sense of decency- a ship that has already sailed- House Minority Leader McCarthy would denounce Boebert for her latest remarks, which are completely in character. However, he wisely will not do so, waiting instead for Democrats to overreact, thus avoiding alienating the Trump wing of the Trump party while making Republicans other than Boebert appear reasonable by comparison.
Several individuals in Nancy Pelosi's caucus are ever on the alert, excessively and irrationally, for insults to Muslims or to racial minorities. The Speaker is not in an enviable position, but capitulation is not a satisfactory response as a matter of politics or policy.